The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 335
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Garcia, Richard Griswold del Castillo, and Ricardo Romo. Such works
have attempted to be more than mere chronicles of the victimization
of Mexicans at the hands of Anglos. Indeed, the previous penchant
toward them-vs.-us dichotomies in the writing of Anglo-Mexican rela-
tions has been replaced by an effort to recognize variation, nuances,
and differentiation in the interaction between people of Mexican de-
scent and United States society.
On the other hand, this new current in Chicano history remains
indebted to the research of historians who provide the information
from which more critical studies can be fashioned. In this respect,
Arnoldo De Leon has supplied a valuable addition to our knowledge
of the historical experience of Mexicans in the United States through
the publication of his finely researched study on Anglo attitudes to-
ward Mexicans in nineteenth-century Texas.
De Leon traces certain themes in Anglo perceptions of Mexicans
over nearly a century of Texas history, noting changes as well as con-
tinuities in such views. It is an unpleasant journey as the author offers
a litany of examples that demonstrate the overriding tendency of
Anglo-Texans to perceive Mexicans in generally negative, if not viru-
lent, terms. De Leon arranges his chapters around these racist Anglo
perceptions of Tejanos, who are seen as radically inferior, indolent,
morally deficient, disloyal, and as, essentially, unequal to whites.
One fascinating element in De Leon's work concerns the disparity
between views of Mexican females by Anglo men and the same Anglos'
perceptions of Mexican males. The early, sexually charged attitudes of
Anglo men toward Mexican women pointed to the scarcity of white
females, De Leon argues, and allowed white men to see Tejanas as
desirable, yearning, romantic creatures. Richard Griswold del Castillo,
however, in his book The Los Angeles Barrio, 1850-z8go, suggests that
many Mexican women, given the low prospects afforded Mexican men,
married Anglo men in the hope of social and economic mobility. De
Leon fails to discuss the extent to which perception in Texas coin-
cided with fact, raising the possibility that there may have been a seed
of truth in Anglo male views of Tejanas.
Moreover, De Leon occasionally indicates that some Tejanos at-
tempted to blunt the effects of racism by trying to present themselves
as distinct from Mexicans by reference to class status, Spanish ancestry,
or both. To what extent such efforts succeeded over time, under what
conditions, and with what results remain unaddressed by the author.
Nonetheless, De Leon has made a solid contribution to a growing
storehouse of data on Mexicans in the United States after the Mexican
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/383/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.